Paris Hilton shared on Instagram that she had a full-body MRI scan in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and World Mental Health Day, which is marked each October 10.
The reality TV star and heiress honored her late grandmother, Kathy Richards, who died 20 years ago from breast cancer. “I miss her every single day,” Hilton, 41, wrote in her post. “I can’t stress how important it is for my mental health to make sure I’m being proactive and not reactive when it comes to my physical health.”
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She shared photos and videos of her full-body MRI scan and urged her 20.5 million Instagram followers to do the same. “Make sure you are taking care of yourselves,” she wrote.
Screening for cancer, whether via MRI or self-examination, can catch cancer early on, when it is easier to treat.
A recent study found that Black and South Asian women and women under 40 are the least likely to check their breasts for signs of cancer. What’s more, 78% of these people said they do not check their breasts regularly, and a third admitted that they didn’t check at all.
Cancer Health’s Breast Cancer Basics offers more information on this type of cancer and those at risk:
Breast cancer occurs primarily in women, and it is the second most prevalent cancer (after skin cancer) among women in the United States. About 266,100 women are newly diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and around 40,900 die of it annually, according to the American Cancer Society. Men can also develop breast cancer. About 2,500 men are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and 490 die of the disease annually.
Regular screening for breast cancer can detect the disease early, when it is easier to treat. Professional guidelines vary in how often they recommend screening, with most advising that women get mammograms every year or every other year starting at age 45 or 50. Younger women who have a higher-than-average risk can opt for earlier screening on an individual basis. All women who notice a new mass, lump or other changes in their breasts should report this to their health care provider immediately.
Some risk factors for breast cancer include:
- Family history of breast cancer
- Genetic mutations (including BRCA1 and BRCA2)
- Early menstrual period
- Having dense breasts
- Oral contraceptives
- Late or no full-term pregnancies
- Not being physically active.
For related articles, click #Breast Cancer. You’ll find headlines such as “Breast Cancer Death Rates Drop; Wide Gap for Black Women Remains Stagnant,” “14 Celebrities Who Show There’s Life After Breast Cancer,” “Researchers Find Less Risky Way to Monitor Breast Cancer Progression,” and “Early-Onset Cancers Are on the Rise Worldwide.”